Charlie Nicholas has heaped praise on Sebastien Haller while predicting a goal-fest between West Ham United and Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Sky Sports pundit has predicted that the Hammers will pick up a point in a 2-2 draw at the Vitality Stadium, despite boldly claiming that is the best squad they have ever had in the Premier League.
Nicholas was left drooling over the group of players Pellegrini has put together, with Lukasz Fabianski becoming consistent and the aggressive defence in front of him creating the perfect blend.
Both sides have been backed to have more motivation in the game after they both crashed out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday against League One sides.
“This is the best group West Ham have had in the Premier League,” he wrote on Sky Sports.
“Manuel Pellegrini has bought well; they are aggressive at the back, have a great balance across the park and have a very consistent goalkeeper in Lukasz Fabianski.”
“Is it motivation for both these sides following their Carabao Cup exits? Despite the changes, that will wind them up for the weekend so we should get a good game.”
“I like Sebastian Haller – he has got a great touch and looks a permanent goal-threat. I cannot separate these two.”
This is a big test for the Hammers at the weekend given their recent record against the Cherries. Pellegrini’s men have struggled against Bournemouth in recent years, and haven’t won a game against their weekend opponents in almost four years, a record they would love to break this weekend. Ignoring the cup defeat, West Ham haven’t lost since the opening day of the Premier League and have kept three consecutive clean-sheets as they sit just outside of the top-four. Bournemouth are a free-scoring side and this will most likely be one of their hardest tests so far to try and keep them quiet in their own stadium, which is a test that will prove a lot about the Hammers’ back four, who so far have looked solid. Nicholas is right to single out Haller, with the Hammers surely expecting the Frenchman to continue his scoring streak after becoming their club-record signing. Also, the pundit has been bold to claim the Hammers have their best group of players yet in the Premier League, given the club previously finished fifth in the 1998-1999 season. West Ham will be looking to continue their run when they travel to the South coast and put an end to their torrid recent record against the Cherries.